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Game 78/82: Celtics (54-23) @ Bulls (57-20) Open Thread

 

Boston at Chicago
United Center
8:00 PM EST
TNT


Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 104.4 points/100 possessions (15th)
Chicago: 105.3 points/100 possessions (13th)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 97.6 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
Chicago: 97.4 points allowed/100 possessions (1st)

Probable Bulls starters: Derrick Rose (PG), Keith Bogans (SG), Luol Deng (SF), Carlos Boozer (PF), Joakim Noah (C)

View from the Opposing Bench: By The Horns

Programming Note: It’s a busy day here at CelticsHub HQ, which necessitates a shorter preview than we would typically post. Not to worry though – the usual longwinded diatribes will return post-game.

Mini-Preview: It should be a playoff atmosphere in the United Center tonight, with the two top contenders to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals battling for playoff position. The Celtics have more at risk in the standings, where they continue to jockey with Miami and Los Angeles for overall position (the C’s are a half game behind L.A. and a half game ahead of Miami).

For the Bulls, the game is a chance to validate their superiority over the Eastern Conference, at least in the eyes of the pundits and fans. Despite the Bulls taking over first in the East, their road to the title still goes through Boston. And there should be legitimate questions about whether a team with Carlos Boozer as its second best player can really run the table in the top-heavy east. Boozer’s a fine player, and Noah may be even better but this team has only one legitimate superstar in Derrick Rose.

The Celtics should be up for this game. Many excuses have been made, and much bandwidth has been consumed in detailing their post-trade slump, but on the back of two straight wins, and with three in their last four, any kind of letdown of effort would be seriously distressing, only a week from the start of the playoffs. Which is to say — expect great energy tonight, and be annoyed if you don’t get it.

These are similar teams in many respects. At their best, they both play staggering defense, as orchestrated by Tom Thibodeau. They both struggle to score, with Chicago’s problems only a shade less severe than Boston’s. So, expect a defensive struggle, where Boston will do anything they can to keep Rose from breaking down their perimeter defense. Everything will flow from that. It’s a lot of pressure on Rajon Rondo, but he should have overload strong side help from the rest of his team if the C’s take Rose as seriously as they should. And a wall of defenders is pretty much the only way to stop Rose, who is one of the very few truly unguardable players in this league, one-on-one.

On the offensive side, the Celtics have to move the ball for open looks. They need crisp screens to free up Ray Allen on curls, Rondo and Paul Pierce breaking down the defense off the dribble and in the pick and roll and Kevin Garnett parking himself on the block and giving Boston and inside presence. A series of Glen Davis perimeter jumpers, Rondo forcing up late-clock jumpers and one-and-done possessions are sure signs Chicago is controlling the game.

Anyway, this should be a dynamite matchup. No matter the result, we should all come out of tonight with our whistles wet for the playoffs.

I’ll see you back here for the post-game wrap.

PREDICTION:

Boston 89 Chicago 88

  • someguyinsac

    Just win baby!

    As in Al Davis, not BBD trying to hero win it for us.

    • someguyinsac

      Dammit, it's the Al Davis curse!

  • kricky

    Please, please let's not blow any more easy shots.

  • talesofJP

    Rondo takes the last shot of seemingly every quarter, he is not a good enough shooter to do this, they need to have an actual play when they get the last shot. So frustrating

  • Ryan DeGama

    Agreed. So sick.

  • I_Bleed_Green

    Derrick Rose is a beast.

  • todd

    Believe Pierce needs just one more turnover for all-time franchise record…

  • Conall

    This is getting dangerously close to getting very out of hand, we need to at least put a hand in the air on their three shooters. Cut out the damn turnovers too please.

  • Zee

    We're playing much better D right now. We should keep going to Green.

  • Zee

    I sense a momentum change in our favor…

  • Zee

    Wow… .what a floater.

  • I_Bleed_Green

    Derrick Rose!!!!!!!!!!

  • Zee

    If you recognize, the only one playing with any confidence for the Bulls is Rose. Everyone else looks dazed. We've got this game if we can just slow Rose down some. Right now our C's are really clicking and our starting squad isn't even in.

    It's weird, but for some reason I feel more comfortable when Green and West on the floor. Can anyone explain that???? Weird.

    • I_BLEED_GREEN

      because Green is better than Davis and West is better than Rondo

      • nbsmatambo

        i would say West is more aggressive than Rondo, and a better shooter

      • Batman

        HAHAHAHA WEST BETTER THAN RONDO OK

        • I_Bleed_Green

          I meant tonight

          • Batman

            Ok then

  • someguyinsac

    Rose does seem to want the win more than any other Bull out there.

  • kricky

    We are hanging in. We do look a lot better on D against the Bulls with JO out there. Doc is right to limit his minutes. Hopefully he can get more time in the playoffs.

  • I_BLEED_GREEN

    Let's bury the Rose/Rondo comparison now, shall we?

    • Batman

      Please stop trashing on Rondo

      • I_Bleed_Green

        Maybe I’ll when people stop giving him too much credit.

        • Batman

          So u hold a grudge because people say hes the best PG ever?

          • I_Bleed_Green

            Ok if you hear people say ray allen is better than Michael jordan would you have a problem with that? Do you see my point?

          • Batman

            That comparison makes no sense
            Derrick Rose isn't the GOAT
            He's not even the best PG in the league today
            So why is comparing an elite PG like Rondo terrible?
            AND NO ONE SAYS HES BETTER GODDAAAMN

          • I_BLEED_GREEN

            Rondo is elite?

          • I_BLEED_GREEN

            How about comparing Ray Allen to LeBron James? That would be pure disrespect to Lebron (even though he's a dick)

          • Batman

            First off Lebron is not a dick
            Second the comparison still doesn't work because YES RONDO IS ELITE u cannot possibly compare Rose to Lebron, and Rondo is much closer to Rose than Ray Allen to lebron

          • I_BLEED_GREEN

            OK…LOL

          • Morpheus

            First of all, you can't be serious, LeQueen is the biggest dick in the history of sports, well he's at the top of the list.

            You cannot have an ELITE pg shooting 52% from the FT line.

  • I_Love_Green

    Rondo seems uninterested tonight, and he's playing against D-Rose who he always goes hard against. We NEED Rondo to get into the paint to get us easy buckets. If Rondo gets into the paint, Ray will get some good looks, and Ray has to get going now. Our 3 point shooting is horrible, and our 3 point defense is horrible.

    Also, when Rose gets past Rondo our bigs are stepping up on Rose, but not getting in front of him. KG keeps getting on his side, which won't do much good against him. Right now our energy sucks, and I don't feel like we can win this game.

  • Zee

    Rondo missed the easiest layup in the world… :-/

  • Zee

    Missing easy shots around the basket and turnovers are our problem this game. Not the Bulls with their offense or defense.

    • kricky

      You said it. RR has to play better against Rose. We are getting wiped out at the PG match up right now.

      Batman, my brotha, you still want to stand by your argument that RR is a better finisher than Rose?

      • Batman

        Ok I don't understand
        I love Rose and Rondo
        But statistically Rondo is a better finisher than Rose!

        BUT ROSE HAS THOSE AWESOME CROSSOVERS AND FLOATERS MY GOODNESS

  • Zee

    I said to myself "you better not miss this!" when Rondo went up for that layup… LOL! I was SO serious! :)

    • I_Bleed_Green

      Same here

  • Zee

    Believe it or not, I believe we look like the better team. They just have Rose. :)

    • Zee

      What am I saying? LOL!

      • I_Bleed_Green

        You’re saying their pg is abusing our pg

    • Morpheus

      Pass the smoke pipe dude…

  • Mike

    This team is pathetic…

  • kricky

    Green is fucking useless. He should be taking guys like Bogans/Deng. But I guess he's just too nice a guy

  • Zee

    Trolls are among us.

  • Conall

    Not only has Rondo been completely outplayed by Rose through 3, he's also been completely mindfucked by him too, looks so tentative out there. They better pull this back and make it a scrap at the end that's all I want to see at this stage.

  • tim

    get it to within 3, kurt thomas flops as if nenad would really throw him to the ground, baby hits shot but its waved off, momentum = gone .. love it

  • Zee

    Okay. Turning the game OFF! Will have it on DVR and if the score is in our favor I'll go back and watch it. But right now and I can't take anymore.

    • Morpheus

      Don't know why you got thumbs down, i did the same thing right after Baby threw that brain fart shot up in the 4th quarter, and he completely denied giving it to Green…

  • I_Love_Green

    Worst game of the season for us. This is embarassing.

  • talesofJP

    Delonte is playing so much better than Rondo tonight, no clue why. We can't stop their offense and we're turning it over way too much

    • Zee

      Which is why I feel better when he's on the floor.

  • I_Love_Green

    And it doesn't help Chicago is making every impossible shot, and the Celtics are missing every easy shot.

  • someguyinsac

    Well Marv's hairpiece looks good tonight.

  • tim

    frustrating game guys but remember Doc is not playing playoff rotations/minutes .. unfortunately the celtics did not bring their A game tonight

    • Mike

      Err Doc is playing the playoff rotation. And we're getting blown out of the arena. That's the problem I have with tonight's game, they can't make any excuses as to why we lost tonight's game.

      • talesofJP

        no excuse for this one, they are getting killed, missing easy shots, not moving the ball, a lot of "hero ball"

      • MP!

        No, he's not.

        Starters would be playing way more minutes, plus we'd have Shaq and there'd be no minutes restriction on Jermaine.

        • Morpheus

          STOP with the EXCUSES.

  • kricky

    Bulls treating us worse than Marv Albert treats Mike Fratello.

    This utterly sucks.

  • talesofJP

    …just 5 minutes of good basketball would be nice to see, it really would

  • MP!

    Defense doesn't matter if you can't score any points.

    • Mike

      There hasn't been much defense either…

  • Guest

    Seems like whenever the C's came close they'd call some bs foul and then that would destroy their confidence. This sucks. I'd welcome a Derrick Rose ACL tear with open arms. They're nothing without him.

  • WTF

    This team will be getting swept by the bulls. What is Rivers doing? left Green on Booz, and BBD thought he’s a guard trying to make plays near the 3 ball line? The whole team tightens up in the forth? That’s serious shity trouble.

  • someguyinsac

    Is there an ocean for us to throw the ball into tonight?

    • Mike

      I think the question would be, would they even be able to it that or miss it like they have been all night?

      • someguyinsac

        I'm guessing it would be a miss, even in the Pacific at this point.

  • Mike

    They are playing like we used to. Maybe Thibs was the mastermind and not Doc afterall…

    • MP!

      If the Bulls prevent us from winning a title this year, it'll be hard not to be bitter about Doc Rivers telling Thibs he should pass up the Hornets job and wait for the Bulls job instead.

  • someguyinsac

    there's the concession lineup, Scal sighting to follow?

  • WTF

    Good D, Jeff! How many 3s did Deng hit when Green is guarding him? Fxxk you, Danny, for throwing our chance at the 18th.

  • http://celticsboard.net NickFaldo

    Doc Rivers protects Jermaine and KG for minutes but leaves Ray in to calcify. He goes with Big Baby too much. There's a reason why Glen was taken in the second round. He's not that great a player. Pierce also looked old. When he and Ray are that catatonic, rarely do we win. Good coaching might have won this game. Doc is clueless when it comes to managing minutes and putting the right combinations on the floor. He thinks this is 2008 just substitute Big Baby for Perk. No, that's stupid. Doc Rivers may very well be the most overrated coach in NBA history. The only people more stupid than Doc are the ones who think he's one of the best coaches.

    • Mike

      Nailed it. Thank you.

      • Morpheus

        I have to agree…STUPID rotations, lineups, playing Ray too much, playing Baby like he's got a hard on for him, even when Baby's playing like ASS…

        • Morpheus

          I could not see why Doc couldn't play Delonte more tonight, Del was doing a much better job running the point than Rondo. He was hitting shots, making plays and he wasn't walking the ball up the court like a lunatic. Our offense just seemed to me like it was operating better when Del was out there.

  • Mike

    Well sit rondo when he plays like this. Delonte has more heart and will to win games than he does (and he shots and defends better by the way). BBD's minutes have to go to Krstic, taller and better shooter (oh and rebounder…). And why sign Troy if you're not gonna play him at least I'm thinking he would rebound.
    Man last time I felt like this was game 7 in LA, and this is just the regular season…great…

  • Janos

    Is not good Ryan. In big picture not matter but not encourage for score and team morale is effect. Is chemistry issue on team since trade?

  • James Patrick

    Ladies and Gentlemen… Your 2010-2011 Boston Celtics. Aughh…. MUST GET HEALTHY! We have to remember that!

    And any Lakers fans that wanna talk smack, you've lost 3 in a row with the Blazers, Thunder and Spurs up next. Let's just say you'll have lost 6 in a row after that!

  • Dave from Chicago

    GO BULLS!

    • Mike

      We should think about putting up a sign saying do not feed the trolls since there are so many of them lately…

  • james patrick

    Healthy? What about Shaq? I feel like that's a different game if we had someone in the middle.

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